German schoolteachers have started a campaign to abolish the teaching of joined-up handwriting, according to a report in the Guardian.

“Die Schreibschrift” is the German name for the handwriting style pupils have to learn before they leave primary school, at around 10 years old. It is based on Latin script, and the current form used is called “Vereinfachte Ausgangsschrift” (easier model script). The teachers’ union argues that it is an outdated way of writing and a waste of time for pupils, who first have to learn printed letters, then how to join them up.

There is opposition to the idea, however, with the regional head of the Society for German Language in Hamburg, Dr Hans Kaufman, arguing:

“Writing is a cultural technique used to quickly put down thoughts. Joined-up handwriting trains fine motor skills, develops [a sense for] aesthetics. An apparently easier script also simplifies thoughts. I would mourn the loss of a piece of our writing culture.”

Apart from the argument about loss of culture, others argue that letting children print script will slow down writing speed (think about the time it takes to write individual letters rather than a joined-up word) and decrease legibility.

What do you think? Would you prefer not to have learned joined-up handwriting in school?